Peacock Bass

Rainbow Trout
Cichla ocellaris

Other Names
Butterfly Peacock, Tuke,  Tucanari

The body shape is similar to that of a largemouth bass. The peacock's body color is generally golden with three black vertical bars and a black spot with a silver halo on the caudal fin. Their color patterns can vary greatly. In older fish, the bars tend to fade and may be completely absent in fish larger than 3 pounds.

Typical Habitat
Found in lakes and private ponds on Oahu and Kauai.  Lake Wilson peacock bass tend to be on the move,  patrolling the shoreline in search of small baitfish.  Keep moving until you locate a school.  Check grass lines, brush piles, points, and shallow areas where baitfish can hide.  At other times peacock bass school up and chase shad. The water seems to boil as the baitfish are driven to the surface.

Feeding Habits
Peacock bass eat small fish.  Tilapia, shad, chiliads, mosquito fish, bluegill, even their own young.
Streamer flys and surface poppers seem to work well.  I prefer smaller, white streamer flys.  When the peacock bass "turn on" and start feeding,  just about any style or color seems to work just fine.

Age and Growth
Peacock bass were introduced to Hawaii in 1957.  The state record is 9 lb. 4.2 oz.
My personal best is 8 pounds. Recent tagging has shown some fish have grown 1/2 inch in 3 to 4 months.

Sporting Qualities
Our peacock bass average around 2 pounds,  with a 3 to 5 pounder not that uncommon.
Sometimes 3 or 4 fish will fight over your fly all the way to the boat.  If you don't hook up,  quickly cast right back into the same spot.  It's common for everyone on the boat to hook up at the same time.   You often see peacock bass along the shore and cast to  them.  We'll see them on the surface, like a torpedo, charging a fly from 10 feet away.
You don't have to worry about setting the hook...  just worry about hanging onto your fly rod.

Food Quality
At the present time,  Lake Wilson is all Catch -N- Release.
(peacock bass are excellent eating.)

World Record
11 lbs. 8 ounces Country Isle Lake, Westin, Florida

Preferred Temps
The hotter the better.  The only thing that seems to slow or turn off the peacock bass is a quick rise in the water level,  or water temperatures below 70 degrees.  Peacock bass seem to like sunshine and warm water.


Lake Wilson

Stan Wright